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Orrick points to economy in mass redundancy program

Orrick points to economy in mass redundancy program

US firm Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe has announced a deep redundancy programme expected to see 12% of the firm’s associates being walked out, leaving the door swinging for the same number of counsel.

The firm announced details of the cull – its second in recent months - on Tuesday, with around 100 associates and 200 staff members likely to be affected across the US, Asia and Europe, where staff will be subject to redundancy consultations.

Announcing the job losses, the firm said: “These actions are made necessary by the world economic crisis and the impact of that crisis on our clients and the levels of activity in the world market. These actions are unrelated to performance and affect attorneys and staff throughout our offices and practices.”

“While these actions are necessary in light of the continuing and growing economic challenges facing our clients and law firms generally, we regret the impact they will have on our talented lawyers and staff. We will provide severance pay and outplacement services.”

Orrick laid off around 40 associates and counsel in the US, Asia andEurope, as well as 35 support staff, just several months ago. Those redundancies represented a 5% reduction in non-partner lawyers and a 2% reduction of staff from the firm which at the time had a total 1,100 fee earners. 

The news is a shocking move for the firm, after last year's appointment of 80 partners, including 20 from its a merger with German firm Hoelters & Elsing.

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